December 10th, 2006

reading

Interview: Pamela Lowell

Returnable Girl by Pamela Lowell features a headstrong foster child named Veronica (Ronnie) who "has been returned nine times between the ages of eleven and thirteen." Just where does Ronnie belong? (Read my review of Returnable Girl.)

Author Pamela Lowell put a lot of heart and time into her story. She recently spoke with me about it.

How long was the journey from the first seed of inspiration to full bloom publication?

Let's see. This journey began many years ago, with a young foster child who was only six at the time. My first real encounter with the "system." Seed of inspiration. That said, the original manuscript was about twice as long (not a young adult novel) when it became obvious that Ronnie was going to steal the show. I lopped off about 100 pages and started again. About a year to write. A couple of months to sell. Another year to do editor's re-writes. So depending upon how you do the math, either fourteen years or two and a half.

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For more information regarding Pamela Lowell's social work and writing, please visit pamelalowell.com

wings, believe

Interview: Bonnie Dobkin

Dream Spinner, Bonnie Dobkin's first novel, weaves together the stories of two sisters, a popular teen couple, a mysterious professor, a dog, a tapestry, and a talented spider. (Read the full review.)

The story actually came to the author in a dream, though it was years before she put pen to paper and made her dream into a full-length novel. The result is something that taps into the fears and pasts of the characters as well as the readers.

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Visit Bonnie at her website and MySpace page.

dreaming, When Rose Wakes, Christopher Golden

Dream Spinner by Bonnie Dobkin

A dream is a wish your heart makes . . . or so they say. It can also be a nightmare.

Dream Spinner, Bonnie Dobkin's first novel, weaves together the stories of two sisters, a popular teen couple, a mysterious professor, a dog, a tapestry, and a talented spider.

Jori lived through the car accident that killed her father. Scarred for life, both physically and emotionally, she is weighed down by her survivor's guilt. Her personality changes as she pulls away from her remaining family members - her mother and her younger sister Lisa - and is pushed away by her school friends.

After an afternoon in detention, she discovers a strange door, a barking dog, and a professor named DePris. Eventually, this strange old man shows Jori a spider with the power to weave dreams into a tapestry. When Lisa enters this dreamworld and refuses to leave, Jori goes on a quest to rescue her younger sister. Three of her classmates have also fallen prey to DePris' manipulative ways and are traveling through the tapestry. In order for any of them to get home, sacrifices must be made, and Jori is forced to confront her inner demons and darkest fears.

Please give this review a positive vote!

Read my interview with the author.
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Returnable Girl by Pamela Lowell

Returnable Girl by Pamela Lowell features a headstrong foster child named Veronica (Ronnie) who "has been returned nine times between the ages of eleven and thirteen." As the story begins, she has been living with a foster mother named Alison for three months. Just as Ronnie starts feeling at home, her real mother re-enters the picture, making her wonder if blood is thicker than water. Meanwhile, a new friendship with a popular girl pushes Ronnie away from her only real friend, someone who has her own share of troubles. Just where does Ronnie belong?

Ronnie shares her story with readers in a series of journal entries. Her voice is remarkably real, made of equal parts bitter and longing. She is caught in that awkward period between her childhood and teenage years, and this book is perfect for her peers. It also may be instrumental in counseling sessions and foster homes, where kids who are reluctant to talk about their situation might prefer to read and write about it.

Though one should never judge a book by its cover, I have to say that the cover and the additional images on the book jacket are positively perfect. They show Ronnie exactly how she is, right down to her shoes. What does Ronnie carry around in that big garbage bag? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Read my interview with Pamela Lowell.